Tactonics, the New Jersey-based tech start-up, is bringing a human touch to digital communication by enabling people to send physical sensations to each other.
These sensory messages – or Tacts – offer a more intimate way of communicating at a distance. Users could send a heartbeat to tell their loved ones they're thinking of them, or simply add another layer to conventional messaging – multiple taps to convey excitement, for instance.
Tactonics plans to integrate its TactSpace software into third-party products such as jewellery, as well as its own hardware – currently a coin-sized proof-of-concept device called a TactPuck. The device will eventually offer a range of customisable sensations such as vibration, warming up and even scent.
"In the same way that we communicate non-verbally each day through facial expressions and gestures, a sensory message between two people can communicate an infinite number of messages based on intimate relationships and understanding," the company said in a statement.
TactSpace was selected as one of five finalists in the gaming and lifestyle category at the Wearable Technologies Innovation World Cup this month. Growing numbers of tech developers are tantalising our senses to amplify everyday activities and create immersive experiences – see Sensory Science for more.